Surviving in a Venezuelan City: “You have no clue about how people really are when they are faced with hunger”

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Surviving in a Venezuelan city is a lot different than it is in a country retreat. Each location has its own problems and benefits. I wrote before about the dangers of rural retreats and today I will write about the dangers in a city. You must not underestimate people because they are different then they deal with hunger and poverty.

I would like to dissect a little bit about the importance of a parameter that is paramount for “the retreat,” or whatever you may want to call it. Location is everything when it comes to your safety, especially when you live in the city.

It is all about the location before and after a collapse.

I like to think that I am a smart buyer. After all, money is made when you buy, not exactly when you sell something. For me, buying our home was a lengthy process. Selection of the place was not just based on pricing, like most of my fellow co-workers.

We looked for a house located in an area of the city close enough to go to the supermarket on foot, and near a school, too. I used an engineering method to select the best option after we had selected five neighborhoods. It was quite an interesting exercise for the intellect.

You need to select the must-have variables, pondering each one in a debate (that is, if you and your family can do it peacefully LOL), and summarize the results to provide a final conclusion, based on an evaluation supported by a common ground that enhances the most important parameter, selected by the work team based on its relative importance.

How we selected our location in the city

The result was a house close to a supermarket, a couple of mini-malls with lots of services and shops (back then), and with an independent water supply (something that would make us very happy afterward, indeed). Independent meaning that the supply was not provided by the national (now seized, and state-owned, almost absolutely useless) water companies.

Oh, and it was a casual distance to a liquor store. Haha. I don’t drink a lot, but walking 10 minutes to drink a cold beer after a hard work day, has to be healthy. Oh, and we had a local beer around that was delicious.  I hope it has survived the apocalypse.

Getting back on topic, I had a neighbor pretty close by that worked as a mechanic, and we struck up a good friendship. Other acquaintances were in the surrounding subdivisions, so it was easy enough to get a ride sometimes if I needed to.

When we realized how important an independent water supply was

The water supply was much more important than anything else (I always liked the fact of the independence factor and this was one of the most important parameters), and we would discover that the hard way.

One of the bigger oil spills in the national history of our country was in that area in 2012. It contaminated an entire river that is the water supply of the city. I was on a business trip that took several weeks, and the entire city was drying like a carcass in the middle of the Death Valley. The water treatment plant was also contaminated, to a degree.

Being the water supply of almost half a million people, you could imagine the problem.

During the first days, the mayor of the city tried to provide clean water with trucks. This would become a HUGE business in the next months. Truck owners would pay a fee, and the corrupted mayor would “assign” contracts for them to supply the water to the city…by the trucks, rather than using the financial resources to fix the issue. In addition, this solution was combined with using the state oil company that generated the problem in the first place.

In those years my son was a small child. By selecting the water independence off-the-grid as one of the main parameters, rather than good grid power supply (15 years ago, remember) my family did not suffer the hell that other people had to endure, in a city with temperatures over 32 C (about 90 F) the entire year.

Instead of misguided protest, you need to be practical.

What made me somewhat angry was to hear the stories of the people protesting on the streets, almost like now, but no one was asking for a loan to buy plastic barrels and rain gutters to store rainwater, or filters (in that area, it rains almost every day).

People with lots of space to collect water NEVER moved a finger to collect the water for their basic needs like toilets or showering. I mean, they spoke out for the need for clean, treated water; but never took the time to research how to purify it…jeez, even with sun-power that could be done with some ingenuity!

I have the entire design for my place, including a grey water tank under the washroom sink that goes into the toilet tank for our main bedroom. And another for the guest restroom, in the middle of the house. For the house expansion, some other tanks were going to be added. With this apocalypse, we rather preferred to exchange the house for some machinery (we have an empty, small plot of one thousand square meters… if we come back some day to live there again).

How predators learn about your location and valuables

This good choice allowed my wife to take the kid to school without a car, and go to the market and even the mall on foot. Risky, provided that the streets were owned by thugs, but luckily nothing happened. I can´t explain how, indeed. But I give thanks for that.

In the past few weeks, there was a shooting in our neighborhood. Two attackers followed a potential prey in the subdivision next to ours, only to find out that the man was well armed… and drew his gun, killing one and hurting the other. The neighbors jumped to help, and several of them (those who REFUSED to give up their guns) fought back, shooting and providing fire support for the attacked.

This was narrated to me by someone who was there. This person was amazed of learning how the attackers knew the place, considering it is an enclosed subdivision, with just one gate. It is a small city, indeed. Families are usually large and that includes those with black sheep in their herd, too. Therefore, collecting intelligence information about who to steal from is easier for those lazy MFs.

Usually they sent in small kids, in teams, around 9-12 children, or women with babies, to beg for anything, and they will eyeball flatscreen TVs in your living room, or if your furniture is fancy, main air conditioning or any general indications of wealth, how many cars, bikes, or whatever goodies their older relatives could steal… usually at gunpoint.

Get creative before predators strike

If you are lucky, they would enter when there’s no one at home. If you are not, your doorbell rings, perhaps early in the morning, and you just see a poor woman with a baby throughout the door peephole… until you open the door and find yourself suddenly with a gun in your forehead and four guys in your living room unplugging your electronics, and the dog gets killed with a beating.

As one very useful tool against this, one of my favorite deterrents is sonic weapons (artificial intelligence for automatic machine guns is not that advanced yet… and they must be hard to maintain and feed). I know how it looks, but I would prefer to make someone with bad intentions run and not come back, than risk the lives of my loved ones. There is no permanent damage done, either (not too much anyway).

Sonic weapons are cheap, effective against several people simultaneously, and can be triggered remotely if the setup is well executed. Use it outside your BOV and you will spread a mob surrounding if the volume is powerful enough. Designing a setup that could be installed in a matter of seconds in the roof racks is not such a big deal, provided precautions have been made to provide energy. Such devices would be enough for city dwellers though.

Or… perhaps portable devices and the people in the back seat properly protected, pointing the annoying devices to the surrounding mob? Possibilities are plenty, indeed. However this is not my specialty (proper consulting with a professional will point you in the right direction, just let us know so we can all learn from that too), and I am only wildly speculating and being creative, which has helped me a lot in a strange environment…

Location, location, location – and security

A proper choice of location can be the difference between having problems… or avoiding them. We could have bought quite a fancy two bedroom apartment in our city, with a pretty high monthly quote for services like gas, WiFi, electricity and backup gensets for the entire building.

The security was absolutely remarkable. There is a pool, and it is in one of the best parts of the city. Negative aspects?…well, the security employees have left. Those still remaining can be easily tempted to work for the mafia… indeed, sometimes associated with organized crime.

Those of you that think I am exaggerating, you have no clue about how people really are when they are faced with hunger and poverty and surrounded by wealthy (to their eyes) people while their own families are struggling.

I wrote more about securing a home in this article.

Thank you!

Thanks for your support, fellows. There are lots of things happening these days and many interesting things are coming. I feel it in my bones. My younger kiddo is starting to blossom: he wants to make some nice decorative soaps from scratch and sell them in the streets, to help me pay for his books… is that cute or what? Five percent of survival genes starting to show up. Just like his daddy. 🙂

Hope to be able to write about good things happening, and the economy stabilizing.

I am sure many of you would like to come over and have a beer while you relax on our beaches. You will be welcome, that is for sure!

God bless you, people!

About Jose

Jose is an upper middle class professional. He is a former worker of the oil state company with a Bachelor’s degree from one of the best national Universities. He has a small 4 members family, plus two cats and a dog. An old but in good shape SUV, a good 150 square meters house in a nice neighborhood, in a small but (formerly) prosperous city with two middle size malls. Jose is a prepper and shares his eyewitness accounts and survival stories from the collapse of his beloved Venezuela. Thanks to your help Jose has gotten his family out of Venezuela. They are currently setting up a new life in another country.

Surviving in a Venezuelan City: \
J.G. Martinez D

J.G. Martinez D

About Jose Jose is an upper middle class professional. He is a former worker of the oil state company with a Bachelor’s degree from one of the best national Universities. He has a small 4 members family, plus two cats and a dog. An old but in good shape SUV, a good 150 square meters house in a nice neighborhood, in a small but (formerly) prosperous city with two middle size malls. Jose is a prepper and shares his eyewitness accounts and survival stories from the collapse of his beloved Venezuela. Thanks to your help Jose has gotten his family out of Venezuela. They are currently setting up a new life in another country. Follow Jose on YouTube and gain access to his exclusive content on Patreon. Donations:

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  • I know a guy that converted his sprinkler system to spray gasoline. If that’s not enough to disperse the crowd, he has a flare gun.

  • i went off grid 2 years ago in rural west Texas we prepped for 10 years, then said the hell with it and cut the ties to be free.
    we achieved independence only to find out as a couple we are too old to do it by ourselves any more (me75, her 83)everything we have is survival orientated, gardens with drip irrigation, rainwater collection, solar power. propane generators,
    3,300 sq ft adobe home with 2 foot thick walls, have room for milk goat and presently have chickens, green house, detached shop equipped with tools, and all of this in an unincorporated town isolated from the main stream of life.
    guess it’s about time to close it up and head for the rest home,
    looks more like that we just ran out of time.

    • Red Pill; have you considered taking on an apprentice or two? There are young people (anyone below 50 is a young person to me) who are interested in learning skills which you have perfected over the years. They can do the physical labor while you/wife do the knowledge teaching part. Granted, you need background checks on them but places like agra colleges, church congregations and the feed stores might be a place to put feelers out. You could try it for a summer and see if it works for you.

    • Red Pill: As a recently former Californian, semi-retired RN,64 yo in excellent health, I came to COlorado to escape communism. I would love to apprentice on your “farm” to learn and be any type of asset you! My goals are what you have accomplished in your life. I got away as there are too few ways to get out of the Bay Area when the ship hits the damn. Don’t “close it up and head for the rest home”, your life would be never ever be yours ever again! I have a place in the mountains where I will go and sit under my tree when it is time!!! Blesssings to you and your wife! Stay your course SIR!

    • Grampa, you won the battle. Jeez I´m not related to neither of you, and I am proud of you.
      Rest whatever you feel you want!.
      You deserve it.

      Happy holidays, and God bless you both.

  • Yeah, we know how they are, ANIMALS ! When a person is hungry and believe they are between a rock and a hard place, they may make decisions which would not be in their best interest, such as killing your brethren for food, not as food but in taking what is not yours from them.

    Remember my friends; Karma does not take a day off and it does play through the timelessness of the continuum. If you kill another human for his/her food, you will eventually pay the price in innumerable ways.

    Now, don’t get me wrong killing to protect yourself, your family and your provisions is legitimate even though the state believes it is not righteous to kill to protect provisions. To that I say Horse Pucky. Those provisions are what will keep you from starving. Unless someone can truly add talent and skills to help support your newly developed SOC, (self organized collective) then send them on their way. If they then try and take what you have shoot them.

    If you don’t learn to fight fire with fire you will become just another statistic……

  • Oh yes I do. I have been in situations where I was not sure where my next meal was coming from or where I was going to sleep next week. That lasted for almost a year. I was living in Washington DC, in the late 60’s for the federal government, making $4,000 a year.

  • Very interesting to read, thank you. Because I live in a big city apartment building, I am always surprised at the way my suburban relatives and acquaintances fling their front doors wide open when anyone knocks. I never open my door just because some schmuck knocked on it. I am completely used to ignoring unexpected knocking on the door.

    (Nor do I answer the door “in case it’s the police.” When the thugs in blue imitate civilized human beings and politely knock on doors, I ignore them. When they politely knock, they’re trolling.)

    And I too have thought that in a true emergency, security guards will either walk off the job or start working with the bad guys. I wonder at the naiveté of people (especially North Americans who retire to third-world countries) who expect security guards and poorly-paid household staff to be loyal, faithful retainers in an emergency.

    • I’ve had American men tell me they will do anything to feed their family in shtf, to include murder and I assume cannibalism. All I can say is if you see one of these types coming to your place armed in shtf, well, you know what his intentions are likely to be. Might want to have a policy of no armed visitors allowed.

      One time the head of a satanist nasonazi militia said to me what if me and 80 of my guys came to your place and we wanted your stuff? I said there’d be a lot less of you by the time you got me.

  • Jose,
    Would be very interested to learn more about your use of non-leathal “sonic weapons” to deter zombies. Perhaps a topic for another article? Appreciate your insights and wisdom on difficult topics. Stay safe.

    • Want to know more about the “sonic weapons”? Just ask your local LEOs. Many departments have them now.

      • Dear Vlad,

        No, I am not in the USA. I am still in South America (I would prefer to keep it for ourselves for the moment, because we have known there is Cuban intelligence going after everyone they identify as resistance…and despite I am not involved at the moment…perhaps I will be soon, and very seriously if the legit president calls us to arms).

        Actually the house is for sale, but no one wants to pay the amount we ask for, so we are keeping it until things get better.

        I love my country, I was one of the last ones in leaving before the massive exodus, quitting to my once wonderful, well paid job, and I want to stay as close as I can.

        I will be one of the first ones in coming back, too, once the economy stabilizes itself enough so we can save and prepare a proper retirement plan.

        Thanks for your questions people. It is refreshing to learn what goes through your mind.

        Stay safe!.

    • To my knowledge, Jose was unable to sell his home. The family just left. He is in South America but he has not disclosed which country he moved to.

  • Good general information, but nothing to do with the clickbait headline. Article has nothing to do with a city in Venezuela and little to do with how people act in Venezuela. Tsk. Tsk. I won’t read anymore of your articles.

    • Dear Diana,

      I apologize if I have disappointed you in some way. My intention is and has always been to portrait the situations that I had to endure (some of them really putting my family in serious jeopardy, like the assault attempt with that tree across the desert road on our way to my folk´s home, at night in the middle of nowhere).

      That shooting was absolutely real. I don´t have any reasons to mask what I write. Some good friends of mine, former co-workers read as well what I write, and some of them have even contributed with their own experiences.

      Could you please let me know with some more detail what you would like to read about? That would be useful, indeed, because perhaps some other readers have similar concerns, and you would help them too.

      You are welcome to come back whenever you want, though.
      Stay safe.

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